Thursday, October 25, 2007

Middle (or Upper) Class Neighborhood Doesn't Guarantee Good Public Schools

Worse Than You Think - WSJ.com Public education is not just an inner-city problem. The entire system is flawed.
Conventional wisdom holds that upscale communities tend to have "good" schools, and parents often buy homes in expensive neighborhoods so their kids have a shot at a decent public education. But the PRI study, which focused on California, found that in nearly 300 schools in middle-class and affluent neighborhoods, "less than half of the students in at least one grade level performed at proficiency in state math and English tests."

Many of these schools were located in the Golden State's toniest zip codes, places like Orange County, Silicon Valley and the beach communities of Los Angeles. In areas such as Newport Beach, Capistrano and Huntington Beach, where million-dollar houses are commonplace, researchers found more than a dozen schools where 50% to 80% of students weren't proficient in math at their grade level. In one Silicon Valley community where the median home goes for $1.6 million, less than half of 10th and 11th graders scored at or above proficiency on the state English exam.
When educators care more about a child's "socialization" than whether or not they learn, they won't learn. And they do care more about socialization.

Is school choice an answer? Maybe. (Here is a study on School Choice) But I think the entire educational system is broken, starting with the universities that produce teachers, and ending with the administrators who are more interested in social (and socialist) indoctrination than in teaching and learning. [via The Ink Well]

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